Goldman Sachs thinks the political climate in the U.S. is going to keep propelling Wall Street’s bull market run past its 11th anniversary in 2020.
The current bull market is the longest in modern history, and Goldman Chief U.S. Equity Strategist David Kostin summarized the bank’s outlook for the market’s future in a note subtitled, “United we fall, divided we rise.”
“We expect the current bull market in US equities will continue in 2020,” Kostin wrote in the note to clients, according to CNBC. “The durable profit cycle and continued economic expansion will lift the S&P 500 index by 5% to 3,250 in early 2020. However, rising political and policy uncertainty will keep the index range-bound for most of 2020.”
Digging a little deeper into the numbers, data since 1928 shows the S&P 500’s median 12-month return while the government is divided is 11%, fueled by each party’s moves to block the initiatives of their rivals. When one party controlled Congress, there was only an 8% median return during the same period.
An example of this division going forward: Congress could move to reign in some of President Donald Trump’s more aggressive trade tactics, while the GOP blocks any attempts by progressives to roll back 2017’s tax cuts and any deregulation. And Goldman warns the 2020 election could throw a monkeywrench into everything.
“The election outcome could magnify risks or the economic growth outlook could deteriorate,” Kostin wrote. “A unified federal government post-election could prompt investors to assume the tax cut is reversed and lower projected 2021 earnings per share.”
Goldman’s bullish prediction ranks among the highest that CNBC tracks. Earlier this month, Kostin put Goldman’s 2020 target for the S&P 500 at 3,400. That would be a 9% increase from Friday’s 3,117 point close, which is also 4% higher than the average target of firms that have reported their predictions to CNBC.
Credit Suisse was even more optimistic with their recent prediction of a 10% rise to the S&P 500 in 2020.
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